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ISSN 1855-3966 (printed edn.), ISSN 1855-3974 (electronic edn.)

ARS MATHEMATICA CONTEMPORANEA 8 (2015) 291–295

Counterexamples to a conjecture on

injective colorings∗

ˇ

Borut Luˇzar , Riste Skrekovski

Faculty of Information Studies, Novo mesto, Slovenia,

Institute of Mathematics, Physics and Mechanics, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received 23 July 2013, accepted 5 May 2014, published online 5 February 2015

Abstract

An injective coloring of a graph is a vertex coloring where two vertices receive distinct

colors if they have a common neighbor. Chen, Hahn, Raspaud, and Wang [3] conjectured

that every planar graph with maximum degree ∆ ≥ 3 admits an injective coloring with at

most d3∆/2e colors. We present an infinite family of planar graphs showing that the conjecture is false for graphs with small or even maximum degree. We conclude this note with

an alternative conjecture, which sheds some light on the well-known Wegner’s conjecture

for the mentioned degrees.

Keywords: Injective coloring, planar graph, square graph.

Math. Subj. Class.: 05C10, 05C15

1

Introduction

**An injective k-coloring of a graph G is a mapping c : V (G) → {1, 2, . . . , k} such that
**

c(u) 6= c(v) for every pair of distinct vertices u, v ∈ V (G) having a common neighbor.

The least k such that G is injectively k-colorable is the injective chromatic number of G,

denoted by χi (G). Note that this type of coloring is not necessarily proper.

ˇ anˇ and

The injective coloring of graphs was first introduced by Hahn, Kratochv´ıl, Sir´

Sotteau [7] in 2002. The first results on the injective chromatic number of planar graphs

were presented by Doyon, Hahn and Raspaud [6] in 2005. As a corollary of the main

theorem they obtained that if G is a planar graph of maximum degree ∆ and girth g(G) ≥

7, then the injective chromatic number is at most ∆ + 3. Moreover, if g(G) ≥ 6 then

χi (G) ≤ ∆+4, and if g(G) ≥ 5 then χi (G) ≤ ∆+8. Chen, Hahn, Raspaud, and Wang [3]

investigated K4 -minor-free graphs and showed that if G is such a graph of maximum degree

∆, then χi (G) ≤ d 23 ∆e. Moreover, they conjectured that the same bound holds for all

planar graphs:

∗ Partially

**supported by ARRS Program P1-0383 and Creative Core - FISNM - 3330-13-500033.
**

ˇ

E-mail addresses: borut.luzar@gmail.com (Borut Luˇzar), skrekovski@gmail.com (Riste Skrekovski)

c b This work is licensed under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

the injective chromatic number of a graph is at most ∆ + C. where C is some small constant. [1.1. and 32 ∆ + 1. and at most 2 ∆ + 1. if ∆ = 3.2 (Wegner). 5. however.1 (Chen. Thus providing counterexamples to Conjecture 1. The chro2 matic number 3 of square graph G is at most 7. When considering graphs of girth smaller than 5 the injective chromatic number considerably increases. 8]) showing that if the girth of a planar graph is at least 5. it holds that 3 χi (G) ≤ ∆ . 4. Conjecture 1. 8 (2015) 291–295 Figure 1: A planar graph with maximum degree ∆ and girth 4 that needs 32 ∆ colors for an injective coloring. if ∆ = 3. In Fig. 2. Note that for larger ∆. In this note we present examples of planar graphs withmaximum degree ∆ ≥ 4 and injective chromatic number ∆ + 5.292 Ars Math. otherwise. Raspaud. The central problem regarding the chromatic number of squares of planar graphs is the well-known Wegner’s conjecture [9] proposed in 1977. 7} and for every even ∆ ≥ 8.1. For every planar graph G with maximum degree ∆ ≥ 1. if 4 ≤ ∆ ≤ 7. for 4 ≤ ∆ ≤ 7. the bound of this conjecture is one more than that of Conjecture 1. 1 a planar graph of girth 4 and injective chromatic number 32 ∆ is depicted. at most ∆ + 5. We believe that the bound for graphs with maximum degree 3 is correct. There is a number of results (see e. and Wang). Conjecture 1. Contemp. 6. Hahn.g. Theorem 2. for ∆ ≥ 8. 2 The conjecture holds for planar graphs with large girth.1 for every ∆ ∈ {4.1 for planar graphs with maximum degree at most 7 or even. 5. . Let G be a planar graph with maximum degree ∆. There exist planar graphs G of maximum degree ∆ ≥ 3 satisfying the following: (a) χi (G) = 5. 2 Planar graphs with largest injective chromatic numbers Using the following result we easily disprove Conjecture 1.

In Fig. . Note that these graphs are of diameter 2 and of orders 9. For ∆ ≥ 4. (b) χi (G) = ∆ + 5. if 4 ≤ ∆ ≤ 7. Luˇzar and R. Figure 3: Planar graphs with diameter 2 and maximum degree ∆ ∈ {4. and 2. . a cubic planar graph with the injective chromatic number equal to 5 was presented in [3] (see Fig. . . G has diameter 2. For ∆ = 3. (c) χi (G) = 23 ∆ + 1. 9} are presented. and 14. if and only if 1. . Skrekovski: Counterexamples to a conjecture on injective colorings 293 Figure 2: A planar cubic graph with the injective chromatic number 5.ˇ B. 13. 10. 2). the case (a) of the theorem. if ∆ ≥ 8. i. 3 planar graphs with maximum degree ∆ ∈ {4. . .e. respectively. . 11.. every edge of G belongs to a triangle. Proof. the following simple characterization will be used: (∗) A graph G has injective chromatic number equal to its order. 12. . 9}.

it is enough that each vertex of these paths is incident with one edge of the path. Then we insert the paths Pa = a1 a2 · · · ak . where each edge belongs to a 3-cycle. we conclude that each of them satisfies the identity of the case (b) of the theorem. so roughly every second is redundant. and Pc are not really needed to obtain a graph with the desired properties. w and the vertices ai . It is easy to see that there is a path of length two between every pair of vertices. maximum degree ∆ ≥ 8. 4 has maximum degree ∆ = 2k + 2 and the right one has ∆ = 2k + 3. proving Wegner’s conjecture would imply the truth of Conjecture 2. for k ≥ 3. 4 for an illustration). Pb . Moreover. For example in the last construction all the edges of the paths Pa . These additional edges are providing paths of length two between the vertices u. 8. 8 (2015) 291–295 ak bk ak v a2 b1 c2 b2 a1 c1 u v a2 b2 a1 bk b1 c1 w ck+1 u c2 w ck+1 ck+2 Figure 4: Constructions of diameter 2 planar graphs with maximum degree ∆ ≥8 (even on the left and odd on the right) and the injective chromatic number equal to 32 ∆ + 1. Then (a) χi (G) ≤ 5. bi . 5. if ∆ ≥ 8. thus every vertex in the graph should receive a different color in an injective coloring. and ci . if 4 ≤ ∆ ≤ 7. We give for planar graphs with diameter 2. and Pc = c1 c2 · · · ck+1 (if ∆ is odd.294 Ars Math. Finally. Contemp. By (∗). 6. In both cases we start with a path uvw.2. the claim (c) of the theorem immediately follows. and 9. 7. they have the property that each of their edges belongs to a 3-cycle. Since the injective chromatic number is at most equal to the chromatic number of the square of a graph. We conclude the paper with an attempt to correct Conjecture 1. If . and constructions order 23 ∆ + 1. Pb = b1 b2 · · · bk . Let G be a planar graph with maximum degree ∆. we introduce also the edge ck+1 ck+2 ). We distinguish two cases regarding whether ∆ is even or odd (see Fig. In fact. we consider the case (c) of the theorem.1 by proposing the following Wegner type conjecture for the injective chromatic number of planar graphs: Conjecture 2. if ∆ = 3. Let us remark that the presented graphs from the above theorem are not the only ones with such properties.2. it follows that each of them has chromatic index equal to its order. v. (b) χi (G) ≤ ∆ + 5. The left graph depicted in Fig. (c) χi (G) ≤ 23 ∆ + 1. Then by (∗). As these graphs have maximum degree 4. respectively.

ˇ [8] B. [9] G. G. Injective (∆ + 1)-coloring of planar graphs with girth 6. R.e. [4] D. Skrekovski: Counterexamples to a conjecture on injective colorings 295 Wegner’s conjecture holds. Sib. 585–590. 310 (2010). Borodin and A. Sir´ Discrete Math. Technical report. University of Dortmund. Discrete Math. Bu. Discrete Math. Wang. Luˇzar and R. Hahn. Kim and G. J. Cranston. Discrete App. Some results on the injective chromatic number of graphs. Tancer. [2] Y. Hahn. ˇ anˇ and D. 1302–1311. J. As the injective coloring is a relaxed version of coloring the square one may reason that colorability of the square is mainly conducted by the injective incidence of the vertices. 313 (2013). Raspaud and W. Skrekovski and M. Discrete Math. A. Algorithmica 60 (2011). [5] W. O.2. Injective coloring of planar graphs. 24 (2012). Chen. Injective Colorings of Graphs with Low Average Degree. Yu. [7] G. V. J. Graphs with given diameter and a coloring problem. D. Kratochv´ıl. Comb. Germany (1977). Chen. Lin. [3] M. References [1] O. 5636–5649. 663–672. 309 (2009).ˇ B. W. then the extremal graphs (i. Some bounds on the injective chromatic number of graphs. 256 (2002). Optim. Luˇzar. Sotteau. Math. 553–568. 52 (2011). G. Raspaud and W Wang. Ivanova. S-J. Math. Wegner. 157 (2009). 23–29. 299–318. [6] A. 179–192. . A. Doyon. On the injective chromatic number of graphs. the graphs that attain the upper bound) of both conjectures coincide for ∆’s from Theorem 2. Injective coloring of planar graphs with girth 6. Hahn and A. Dong and W. Raspaud. J. Injective coloring of planar graphs with few colors.

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